705 Waterway Road Telephone 610-932-6640
Oxford, PA 19363 FAX 610-932-6649
Graduation Project Information Manual
Within the Chapter 4 Regulations of the State of Pennsylvania it states that students will “apply, analyze
information and communicate significant knowledge and understanding.” Students will demonstrate their
knowledge through a combination of research, writing and oral presentation/demonstration in a
multidisciplinary project. The graduation project will provide all students with a culminating activity that
demonstrates these skills. It also gives students an opportunity outside the classroom to integrate their
various courses of study with their individual interests.
In order to graduate from high school, a student shall complete a project in one or more areas of
concentrated study under the guidance and supervision of the high school faculty. The purpose of the
project, which may include research, writing and/or some appropriate form of demonstration, is to
challenge the student to go beyond his/her educational program. It is an opportunity for the student to
expand his/her personal knowledge to real life situations that will promote lifelong learning.
To complete the graduation project, students will need to demonstrate self-initiative. This project is student
driven. Sponsors, teachers and other resource people are available to assist students; the students must
initiate any request for support. This approach to the graduation project is designed to prepare the student
for future endeavors in post-secondary education or work.
Choose your topic wisely and with much thought!
Responsibility for all aspects of the graduation project rests solely with the student. The student is
responsible for selecting a project, scheduling time to complete the project, completing requirements on
time and seeking help when needed. It is the student’s responsibility to utilize the many resources available
at Oxford Area High School and in the community.
Students attending Center for Arts and Technology - Brandywine (CAT-B) will have the required junior
year project count as the requirement for this project. Students who leave the CAT program will be
expected to complete this graduation requirement here at OAHS.
This is a formal event. All students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner when
presenting to their evaluation panel. Preparation is essential. You must rehearse your presentation before
you present. It is a good idea to think about all aspects of your presentation and to think about what could
possibly go wrong and how you will respond. This is essential if you are incorporating technology into
your presentation. Another aspect of professionalism is dress. Business casual is an acceptable dress code
to follow. If you are dressed improperly, you will be asked to reschedule your presentation. Please contact
a teacher if you have questions about dress.
Students will submit all graduation project forms to their homeroom teachers. Homeroom teachers will
keep track via checklist of all forms that students have submitted regarding their graduation project. Each
homeroom teacher will forward all student material to the main office to be approved and filed by the
graduation project committee.
Graduation Project Coordinators
All general questions relative to the graduation project should be addressed to one of the coordinators.
James A. Canaday – Assistant Principal
Phone number (610) 932-6640 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Craig Carlough - Science teacher
Phone number (610) 932-6640 E-mail: email@example.com
Mrs. Diane Caudell, Ms. Kim Webber, Mrs. Brenda Witman, Ms. Courtney Mika
The individual student, based on the topic of the graduation project, selects a sponsor. The sponsor must
have expertise in the area of the student’s project. The sponsor serves as advisor while the student
completes the graduation project. Therefore, the sponsor should be easily available to the student. The
project sponsor does not have to be an OAHS faculty member. A sponsor is required to hold a high school
diploma or GED and may not be an immediate family member of the student. Selection of a sponsor
who has expertise in the area of a student’s project and who is accessible to the student is crucial to the
successful completion of the graduation project.
The following are requirements of a person agreeing to be a sponsor for a project. Potential sponsors
should read this list before agreeing to sign the Sponsor Approval Form. The student should provide this
list to the sponsor.
The sponsor should:
Have expertise in the area of the student’s project
Work with the student for the entire length of the project
Encourage the student toward the completion of the project
Consider serving on the evaluation team
Project Time Schedule (to begin for class of 2008)
Documentation Required Anticipated Completion by
Graduation Project Proposal Form June of Sophomore year
Sponsor Approval Form June of Sophomore year
Paper/Log Hours/Sponsor Letter Mid-October of Senior year
Graduation Project Presentation November of Senior year
See www.oxford.k12.pa.us – link – Guidance- for specific requirements
Good judgment in selection of the topic is critical to successful completion of the project. The project
should be completed in an area of interest to the individual student and have a relationship to the student’s
When choosing a graduation project topic, students should remember that the graduation project has two
1. Activity or Research project
2. Oral Presentation
A lack of foresight could prove detrimental to the overall project. Students should consider the oral
presentation as they plan the project. Careful planning will ensure opportunities for creating an excellent
presentation. Making or collecting visual aids and using appropriate technologies should not be left to the
The required forms, as listed above, are available through the Oxford Area School District webpage:
www.oxford.k12.pa.us. On the district homepage, select the high school page. Once on the high school’s
page, select the link “Guidance.” Once this is opened, scroll to the bottom of the page and double-click on
the desired form, complete the form and print.
Please use the Graduation Project Requirements link for more details.
The oral presentation demonstrates what students learned, discovered, or participated in while completing
their project. Students are encouraged to use various visual aids during their oral presentation. Visual aids
will serve to enhance the oral presentation. Visual aids take the form of the following:
Overhead transparencies Posters
Brochures or pamphlets
The oral presentation may be given in a variety of different formats. Some of the formats that meet the
requirements of the oral presentation are as follows:
Oxford Area High School
The graduation project will be evaluated on a below basic – basic – proficient –advanced assessment scale.
A satisfactory assessment is needed for purposed of meeting the Oxford Area High School graduation
requirement. This means that all aspects of the graduation project must be at least proficient. Parts of the
graduation project that do not meet the set standards will result in an overall unsatisfactory project. The
deficient portion(s) of the graduation project must be re-evaluated by a committee member.
A panel consisting of up to two-three members will assess the oral presentation and all related project
paperwork. The administrator or coordinator will select no more than three evaluators.
Plagiarism in any form, whether intentional or unintentional, is unacceptable in the graduation project of a
student at Oxford Area High School. Submitting falsified information is also unacceptable. The penalty
for plagiarism or submission of falsified information will result in an unsatisfactory assessment.
Administrative Approval of All Surveys
Prior to the administration of any survey, it must be presented to an Administrator or Graduation Project
Coordinator for approval. Failure to receive approval may invalidate the survey for use as part of the
Protection of Participants in Activity or Research Projects
Oxford Area High School does not sanction any kind of activity or research project that threatens the health
or well being of any investigator, facilitator, or subject (human or animal) through:
Procedures used to elicit information
Procedures designed to directly modify the knowledge, thinking, attitudes, feelings, or other
aspects of the behavior of the subject
Procedures that create discomfort or distress
Oxford Area High School does not sanction any kind of activity or research project that causes subjects any
Invasion of privacy
Risk of physical injury
Threat to personal dignity
Oxford Area High School does not sanction any kind of activity or research project, which involves giving
false or misleading information to subjects or withholding information from them such that their
“informed” consent is in question.
Procedures for maintaining confidentiality of all subjects’ data must be included in all research projects
using human subjects.
Students engaged in any activity or research must conform to school policies and procedures, state laws,
and national laws currently in force. A violation of ethics could result in an unsatisfactory assessment.
Example: Harassment of someone is unacceptable. Live subjects must be approved for surveys or
Oxford Area High School
Only an Administrator, or Graduation Project Coordinator in consultation with the high school
administration, can grant exceptions to the above guidelines.
Sample Graduation Project Topics
The operation of emergency medical or fire services
Working with elementary students with special needs
Study and utilization of solar power technology in vehicles
Developing an interactive visual basic program for troubled math students
Eagle Scout project – establishing a blue bird trail
Pediatric physical therapy
Martial arts as a means of self-defense, physical fitness and personal development
Veterinary medicine at the New Bolton Animal Hospital
The operation of the Humane Society of Chester County
Rebuilding a small engine
The techniques of firefighting
The roofing industry
Restoration of an historic site
Painting and paper hanging
Volunteering with the American Red Cross
Computerization and auto mechanics
Graduation Project Resources
Oxford Area High School faculty
Oxford Area High School library
West Chester University
University of Delaware
Experts in fields related to projects
Personal books, magazines, and newspapers
Community service organizations
Community health organizations
Other colleges and universities
Oxford Area High School computer labs
Chester County Historical Society
Chamber of Commerce
The Lighthouse Youth Center
Young Life Ground Zero
Oxford Vision Project
Writing Research Papers by James D. Lester, 9th edition or higher